A geographical error

Lady Mary Glyn wrote to her son Ralph with her comments on the news. The Appam was a British civilian ship transporting some wounded soldiers and German prisoners of war, as well as civilians, from West Africa. Sir Edward Merewether (1858-1938) was the British Governor of Sierra Leone, and was also onboard. The ship was captured by a German vessel, and taken to neutral America.

My own darling Scrappits…

It is Monday Jan 31 [1916] …

I have been seeing people all day – no time to write or read – even the account of the Paris Zeppelin raid. Poor Sir Edward & Lady Merewether of Malta [dogs?] lost in this Appam tragedy. It is too sad. And Lady Wake’s brother Beau St Aubyn in the Persia – doing a good turn to Johnny Ward whose place it was to go. There seems to be little hope of his having been saved, though the man standing next to him at the time of the explosion was picked up. So the whole round world is full of tragedy – but the assurance is that the Germans cannot hold out much longer. Lettice has heard that there is most certain information as to the economic conditions being desperate & quotes Bishop Bury of N Europe….

Poor Mackenzie, stationmaster – has his son home desperately ill – consumption of the throat. He has not been to the front but serving with Kitchener’s Army & it has been too rough a life….

We began the evening with a Zeppelin excitement, One reported at Bourne – & then at Ryde near Thorney, & Peterborough was warned. Now, 11 pm , I hear the Zeppelin dropped a bomb at Stamford and one other place, & we shall hear more tomorrow, & I only hope it will not come back upon its track to right this way. I am conscious of most inadequate precautions! & worry myself to think how we could protect the children [Meg’s little Anne and Richard, who were visiting]. “The safest place is just where they are”, says T’Arch [possibly the Archbishop] & counsels no move to any quarters other than where they are, as we have no cellars.


Our Russian Allies have been nobly bearing the chief brunt of the enemy’s attack

Women and children were at the forefront in Burghfield, Sulhamstead and Theale fundraising efforts on behalf of wounded Russians, while efforts were also made in Reading.



An energetic canvass of the parish on behalf of the Russian Red Cross Society was mad eon Saturday, September 18th, by an enthusiastic band of workers, organised by Miss B Leake. It is said they met with a bright welcome at almost every house at which they called, or every person whom they asked. All the flags had been sold by 2 o’clock, and givers after that time were content to have no recognition. The collecting boxes were taken unopened to Canon Trotter on Saturday night by Miss Leake, but the counting was deferred, and was not known at the time of going to press.

The St Michael’s Scouts gathered blackberries, which they sold for the Russian Red Cross, and added £1 to the fund from their sale.



It is interesting to record the efforts made, and the sums contributed, in our parish towards meeting the manifold needs of our Allies and ourselves in this time of War. During the last two months appeals have been made to the Country to assist the Russian wounded and sick, and our own Red Cross and St. John Ambulance Association. On both occasions Mr. D. M. Davies took up the work with zeal, invited the collectors and assigned them their districts.

“Russian Flag Day” was September 18th, and £8 18s. 9d. was contributed. The following collected: Mrs Charles Blatch, Miss Bunce, Miss Cowing, Miss Dance, Miss Ivy Forrester, Miss Pickford, Miss Elsie Janes, Mrs Sly and the Misses Windle.

Our parishioners gladly and willingly responded to the appeal made by the Mayor of Reading to help the Russian Red Cross by buying flags on Saturday, September 18th, and the very satisfactory sum of £11. 13s 7d was realized as our contribution to the good cause. The Rector and Mrs George are most grateful to all the collectors who responded to their appeal, and who spared no effort to make the day a success.


A Reading church had a special fundraising day in aid of wounded Russian soldiers.

The Vicar’s notes

Our Russian Allies have been bearing so nobly the chief brunt of the enemy’s attack during the last few months that it was only fitting that we should do our best to help their wounded, who I fear, must be numbered by hundreds of thousands. So Saturday, Sept 18th was kept as Russian Flag Day, and the results were splendid; the total amount reaching, I believe, some £2,000.

Sulhamstead and Burghfield parish magazines, October 1915 (D/EX725/3); Theale parish magazine, November 1915 (D/P132B/28A/4); Reading St Mary parish magazine, October 1915 (D/P98/28A/13)

The noblest death a man can die

Theale men were continuing to join up, even as another paid the price of patriotism. The church paid tribute to him, while praying for peace.


The following names of those serving are added to those already published:

Harry Janes, Third Officer, H.M. Transport, No. 186.
Harry Ernest Webber, Royal Berks Reserve.


Killed in Action.
Oct. 5th. – George Bedford, 1st Royal Berks Regiment, No. 6627.
Aged 32 Years

The Service of Intercession on Thursday, November 19th, was devoted to his memory.

“He was a good Churchman, and a good man, steady and industrious, a devoted Husband and Father. He has given his life for his King and Country, the noblest death a man can die. We commend his soul to the gracious keeping of our Heavenly Father, and pay Him to comfort and support his widow and orphaned child.”

From the Rector’s address.

George Bedford, having been a member of the Diocesan Guild, and a ringer in our Belfry, a muffled peal was rung to his memory on Saturday evening, November 21st.

We cannot utter the traditional wish for a “Merry Christmas this year, for the dark cloud of War will still overshadow us. But we wish our readers and all in our parish a “Blessed” Christmas, which is the Bible word for “Happy.” And let us all pray on the Birthday of the Prince of Peace, that God may soon give to use and all the world the Blessing of Peace.

Theale parish magazine, December 1914 (D/P132B/28A/4)

For King and Country

More young men from Theale had joined up by October 1914.

In addition to the names published in the Magazine for September, the following from our Parish have offered themselves:-
William Corderoy, King’s Royal Rifles
Arthur Eatwell, Kitchener’s Army.
Jesse Eatwell, Oxfordshire Light Infantry.
Albert Howard Morland, Grenadier Guards.
Harry Morland, Grenadier Guards.
James Janes, Royal Berks Yeomanry.
Owen Wyatt, Royal Berks Yeomanry.

Theale parish magazine, October 1914 (D/P132B/28A/4)